A leading asset manager (one of the largest in the UK) is looking for a Senior EM Economist/Lead EM Economist to join the global economics team. The role has a global EM focus, however it is essential that whoever joins has an understanding of China macro, as well as the ability and interest in becoming the lead authority on China macro within the firm after joining. This role will also involve direct management of a Junior EM Economist, as well as regular travel to Asia and other regions.
Senior Emerging Markets Economist
In this role, you would be the lead EM Economist on the global economics team at one of the largest asset managers in the UK. The focus of the role would be on undertaking fundamental, primary, empirical research and analysis of global emerging market macroeconomics, policy, political and market topics, from a top-down perspective.
Some key aspects of the role:
- Provide macro-economic forecasts for, and analytical insights into, the key economic and policy indicators for the major emerging markets, including China. It is important that the successful candidate is prepared to increase focus on China and must be able to establish credibility around the China view within 3-6 months, while demonstrating a strong interest in China, regardless of current regional focus. It is OK is the selected candidate is not currently China-focused, provided they are strong and able to start increasing strength on China in a timely fashion.
- Become the go-to person internally at the firm for the most important questions surrounding global emerging markets
- Build trust and credibility with senior team heads in the firm, including Head of EM Debt, Head of EM Equities, Head of Multi-Asset etc
- Lead the outreach with government officials, academics, and international financial institutions relating to the emerging market research of the team
- Clearly and concisely communicate research and analytical insights to media and clients, with a focus on emerging markets, through interviews, presentations and other means.
- Proactively engage with colleagues in investment debates to develop ideas and help arrive at the best possible investment decisions.
- Manage a junior emerging market economist
- Act as the firm’s liaison and coordination point for the firm’s emerging market-focused investment and distribution teams.
Skills & Experience
- Extensive experience in an emerging market-focused economics or policy role, including practical experience of using macroeconomic models to produce research, forecasts and scenarios.
- Track record of previous leadership experience, including developing one or multiple people on a team
- Ability to deliver original, impactful research and analytical insights relevant to emerging markets through a range of publications, forums and media, adapted to different internal and external audiences.
- Knowledge of investment processes and financial markets preferred, as well as the ability to understand the interaction between economics and financial markets.
- Strong understandings on the EM cycle, as well as country debt, balance sheets, currency movements etc
- Strong team-playing skills, enabling effective relationships within an international research team and other internal teams
- Ability to work in a collaborative manner with minimal direct supervision, as well as act on the behalf of the Chief Economist where necessary.
- Excellent quantitative skills, including experience with a range of statistical tools and methods, as well as the ability to use them in original empirical work.
- Knowledge and understanding of academic research in relevant topics, as well as the ability to engage with and collaborate with academics and policymakers at a high level.
- Ability to communicate effectively with the media and deliver thematic presentations to a range of clients in different countries.
- Experience supervising the work and career development of more junior staff.
- Ability to work within a complex business environment and gain the support and confidence of a wide variety of people
Notes about the forecasting process
- Direct forecasting responsibility will only be for the four primary EM economies: China, India, Brazil, Russia
- The remaining EM forecasts can be derived from what the IMF is forecasting for the rest of the EM universe. To do this, the EM Economist can take a view on the IMF forecasts for EM markets and then decide on whether they are accurate or over/understating expected growth.
- There are also additional tools that allow the team to look at EMs (such as a proprietary EM Heatmap) which allows the firm to examine risks, vulnerabilities etc, which then results in risk score that is produced and updated on a quarterly basis – this is used as an input into the overall investment process
- The team has also developed tools that are akin to nowcasts for several EM economies
- In summary: The technical requirement for this role will be detailed bottom-up forecasts for the 4 most important EM Economies, an aggregate view on the rest, and then additional tools to help if needed. Also, the Senior EM economist will be expected to have views on the major EM economies and to work closely with the investment teams and strategists on expressing these views in portfolios
What to expect in the role:
- Extensive interaction with PMs and the expectations of developing a close working relationship with the EM Debt team, EM Equities Team, Multi-Asset Team and more
- This person will oversee the EM research and forecasting process for the firm globally
- Travel: Probably 4-8 business trips per year, mostly to Asia, as well as other regions in the world
- You will be expected to be a thought leader on at least 1-2 EM-focused research papers per year.
- Regular interaction with clients, internal stakeholders, and the media, in the form of presentations, meetings etc
- Management of a junior economist coming off the graduate program
- Occasionally working on ad hoc, rapid response notes (ie. if something major happens in China, EM perspective on developments in the trade war etc)
- Being responsible for writing the EM section of a monthly macro publication
Important to note:
- This firm is looking for someone who enjoys being an Economist and progressing along the Economist career path for at least a few years. If someone is looking to be a PM within 2-3 years or immediately looking for a pure strategist position, then this is not the right role.
- The initial interview will be in person or via phone call/video call with the Chief Economist.
- If the first round goes well, the second round will involve a trip to the firm’s offices for a full day of meetings with various members of the investment team and economics team
- The final round interview will most likely be with the CIO/CEO or someone else quite senior at the firm
- As this role grows, the next logical step (in addition to increase in comp/bonus) would be the promotion to a more senior title such as “Chief Asia Economist” or “Chief EM Economist” etc
- As the team expands, there is also a chance that this person would be able to add more EM headcount below them, depending on the performance of the team and firm
- If it is of interest, there would be the future opportunity to relocate to Asia or another major hub for the firm
- A Master’s degree or PhD in Economics or a related discipline
- Extensive experience in a senior EM Economics or Policy role
- Good understanding of the interaction between economics and financial
- markets (strongly preferred)
- Strong econometric modeling skills
- Buy-Side or Sell-Side experience will be equally considered
- Previous leadership/management skills (highly preferable)
- Confident, good presenter. Comfortable speaking on the media, in front of audiences, with clients etc